Moon House Trail
ElevationAscent: 44' 14 m
Descent: -242' -74 m
High: 5,802' 1,769 m
Low: 5,561' 1,695 m
GradeAvg Grade: 10% (5°)
Max Grade: 34% (19°)
Popular runs nearby
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“A short route down and then up to the main Moon House Ruin.”— Kristen Arendt
To visit Moon House Ruin you must have a permit from the Kane Gulch Visitor Center. Permits are limited to 20 per day. For more information on permits, click here.
The trail starts out pretty flat, heading through scrubby pinyon pine, juniper, and rabbitbrush. Stick to the rocks and marked trail to make sure you don't damage the dark (and alive!) cryptobiotic soil in the area.
The canyon rim opens up suddenly and impressively from the flat ground that you have been running. Be sure to look across the canyon to see if you can spot the ruins as it is truly impressive to see them perched on the far side of the canyon wall.
From here the drop into the canyon is steep. You'll be crossing several large slabs of slickrock and a couple tight switchbacks with loose rock. There is one section that will require jumping (or scooting) down a small ledge onto a stack of rocks that others have kindly stacked to make for an easier descent/ascent.
At just under half a mile, the trail will drop to the canyon floor. Depending on the time of year there may be water flowing in the small creek or there may just be some pools of water and a dry creek bed to cross. There are several massive black and red striated boulders on the canyon floor and a cool overhang to explore. Gaze around to find the looming hoodoos.
From here, it is just a short, quick uphill with one tiny section of scrambling to reach the main Moon House Ruin. These Anasazi dwellings, pictographs and storage bins are ancient and obviously should not be touched or bumped. Do not take any materials. Be sure to allow plenty of time to explore the ruin and surrounding area before heading back the way you came.